Well, this is fun.
After tweeting out his displeasure with the arrangement between Wolverhampton and “super agent” Jorge Mendes after Leeds United lost to Wolves on Wednesday night, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani seemed to come out swinging today.
After Leeds and Villa take a swipe at Wolves on Twitter, Jeff Shi responds: "Frankly it's laughable." Shi also reveals he and Jorge Mendes have had 'several lunches' with Leeds owner @andrearadri #wwfc https://t.co/nvzaGSeG0Y— Tim Spiers (@tim_spiers_Star) March 12, 2018
Earlier in the day, Wolverhampton chairman Jeff Shi had said that he has had “many” lunches with Andrea Radrizzani in the past and that he found the actions of Radrizzani “laughable,” as he restated his belief that the way Wolves are doing business to be in line with EFL regulations.
In response, Radrizzani said that he would like to emulate what Wolverhampton has been doing this year. Radrizzani said:
They are playing great football and they are managed by a very good coach so they deserve to be top of the league regardless of money or investment,
It’s an opportunity for me to clarify the rules because I want to build a successful team on the pitch like Wolverhampton.
To do it I might need to have five or six players on loan from an important agent or important clubs in Europe. I need to understand if it’s practical as I would like to do the same.
I know many agents - I know Jorge Mendes well. I would love to have their help. I just want to know if it’s possible to do it within the rules.
I might not even need an agent because I have good relations with many football teams in Europe personally. I want to understand the rules and if possible use them and the leverage of agents in circumstances like that.
So, yeah, shots fired from Radrizzani.
He also said that he wasn’t feeling pressure from the Wolves result, as was suggested by Shi, saying:
There was much more pressure in the previous game against Middlesbrough - that was really our last call and the way we played and what the players showed in that game was really awful.
I was frustrated about my team before the game with Wolverhampton, which I went to with not much hope to be honest, because I understand they have another level of quality on the pitch.
I used the occasion to raise something which nobody had given me attention about for months. Sadly, finally I got some attention.
So it doesn’t sound like he will be having very many lunches with Shi anytime soon.
But beyond that, Radrizzani raises a pretty good point. If the use of agents as “advisers” is legal and completely within the rules of the EFL, then why not? Obviously, Radrizzani has tried to build Leeds up from within to reach promotion. But if Radrizzani can bring in some big-name players by using previous relationships, then why not?
It’d be a lot more fun to watch Leeds dominate the Championship like Wolverhampton has this season than it has been to watch the team lose at home to Millwall and Cardiff City at least.